Morning: Mine, All Mine
Upon realizing I would have a morning free, the possibilities were endless. Nap. Go for a run. Clean the cabin chaos. Write.
(Why not update your dang website? you might wonder, not without good reason.)
Staining the back deck, however, was not among my first (or any) thoughts for how to fill those rare and golden hours. Well, my beloved beardyman made that very suggestion (and many others of equal yawn-level forgetfulness—and I told him so). I was not at all looking for something to do (a point I was not shy about making). I have outgrown kiddo clothes to sort, laundry to fold, beams to dust, words to write, photos to take… In short, I’d probably need at least four weeks of uninterrupted time to accomplish even a fraction of the things on my to-do list.
Of the list of chores he (ahem) suggested, I reluctantly agreed to deal with the deck. The weather was good, I had the time, and it needed to be done before we could put plants and chairs there for the summer. It would feel good to do a little home improvement. I’m not unreasonable.
So, coffee consumed and sunscreen slathered, I cued up a playlist, cleared my throat, and brandished a paint brush. (Most neighbors were probably at work and thus spared my take on bands and songwriters they’ve never heard.)
As I opened the can and read the label, it became oh so clear. I was waterproofing the deck. Not staining it a sunny orange or bright blue, but….a clear coat.
A Not-So-Flashy Flashback
A lack of flashy painting appears to be my lot in life. As a kid, my parents were restoring a very old house, so among my varied chores, I was tasked with staining and painting…brown or grey or white. Zzzzzzzz
It looks lovely at their home, but kid/teen me tackled the work with all the procrastination and complaining you’d expect from a teen who couldn’t go to the movies with her friends before her chores were done. (And I won’t even get into the time I procrastinated to such a degree that I went straight from doing some such staining to a vocal jazz rehearsal only to have someone loudly ask, “Why do I smell turpentine?”)
Adult me lives in a log cabin with exactly zero walls that will ever require painting.
And adult me was also not impressed as I opened the can this morning to recall that I would not complete this project with the satisfaction of a richly hued porch, but maybe (if I was lucky) slightly darker wood.
Be still my heart.
Sweat, Squint, Stink
Three sweaty, squinty, stain-stink hours later, I am hoarse (whether from fumes or singing, who knows?). But the deck dries nicely and will soon be ready to welcome plants, chairs, and bare feet once again, all while eschewing water damage. (Someday we will build the kind of deck this little cabin deserves, but for now, this will just have to do.)
Life, Less Edited
Deck staining (or lack thereof) was not at all what I’d considered posting here next. I have at least one partially written piece, photos ready, and more ideas percolating. Yet, this space has remained sparsely populated. (For so long that I’ve forgotten all I’ve learned about Word Press.) Clearly life/work/pandemic has put the brakes on the creative, carefully crafted endeavors I had in mind for this space. But life is messy—mine especially.
Real life is out loud better than the silence of emptiness.
And with that, I stop editing and fussing. And click PUBLISH.